Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Plants to Food - Washington's Mt Vernon - Syllabub with Sherry

Martha Washington (1731-1802) - From the Garden to the Table 

While George Washington oversaw most aspects of managing Mount Vernon's  pleasure gardens & grounds, Martha Washington oversaw the Kitchen Garden (The Lower Garden), allowing her to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round.

The Kitchen Garden at Mount Vernon

“…impress it on the gardener to have every thing in his garden that will be nece]ssary in the House keeping way — as vegetable is the best part of our living in the country.” – Martha Washington, 1792

Inside the Kitchen at Mount Vernon

Outside The Kitchen at Mount Vernon


Syllabub was a fashionable drink in Colonial America. Known in England since Tudor times, it was sipped or spooned from “special syllabub glasses, so that the effect” of highly whipped cream above, “contrasting with the clear liquid below could be fully appreciated.”

Whether consumed as a spooned dessert or as a sipped beverage, syllabub has not lost its appeal in modern times. This version is based on popular eighteenth-century recipes by E. Smith and Elizabeth Raffald.

This recipe is a modern adaptation of the 18th-century original. It was created by culinary historian Nancy Carter Crump for the book Dining with the Washingtons.


2 1/2 cups heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

Juice and zest of 1 large lemon

1 cup sweet white wine

1/2 cup cream sherry


Combine the cream, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Combine the lemon juice, white wine, and sherry, blending together well. Mixing on low speed, slowly pour into the cream mixture, whipping for about 10 minutes until the syllabub is light and foamy.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set in the refrigerator to chill for about 8 hours, or overnight, to let the flavors blend together. Stir the syllabub at least once while chilling to make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Pour the chilled syllabub into small wine glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

To serve, place the chilled glasses of syllabub on dessert plates set with long-handled spoons.

Research & images & much more are available from the Mount Vernon website,